Archive for the ‘Wound Care Education Institute’ Category

Wild On Wounds: It’s a Wrap!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Wound Care Rocks: a wrap-up of 2016 Wild On Wounds (WOW) National Conference in Las Vegas.

Wild On Wounds 2016: It’s a Wrap!

Wound Care Rocks was the theme as clinicians gathered from all over the world for the 2016 Wild On Wounds (WOW) National Conference in Las Vegas. The goal? To keep up with current standards of care and learn from the best with 42 didactic and interactive sessions.

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“I Love Wound Care” Video Contest Winner!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

I Love Wound Care Video Contest

We are excited to announce the winner of the 2016 “I Love Wound Care” video contest:

★ Gina Turbeville, RN of Pamplico, SC ★

As our winner, Gina will have the opportunity to take the WCEI online Skin and Wound Management course and join our family of 29K+ passionate healers throughout the United States.

When notified about her winning video, Gina responded, “I am so excited about wound care and want to be educated so that I can make a difference, especially to geriatric patients! Can’t wait to begin my education so that I can be the best I can be!”
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Maggots and Wound Care: The Not-So-Odd Couple

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

The use of maggots in wound care is making a comeback – in the form of maggot debridement therapy – and wound clinicians can’t wait to talk about it.

Maggots and Wound Care

 

Most people don’t get too excited about maggots. In fact, the mere mention of legless larvae surely triggers gag responses and/or skin crawling in millions of non-healthcare citizens everywhere. But that’s definitely not the case for those of us in wound care.

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Pressure Injuries? (Don’t) Say It Ain’t So!

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Mounting pressure to call pressure injuries (aka pressure ulcers) something else has caused a stir – and clinicians in wound care are feeling the heat. Find out why.

Pressury Injuries - Don't Say It Ain't So

One of the most basic principles of healing a wound is to determine the cause – and then remove it. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But this is easier said than done, as many wounds have similar characteristics, and we don’t always have all the facts at our disposal in order to pinpoint the cause.

Unfortunately, this process has become further – and unnecessarily – complicated, thanks to increasing pressure (no pun intended) on wound clinicians to name a pressure injury something else. See? We told you it was complicated. Here’s what you need to know.

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You Can Do It! Five Steps for WOW Poster Presentations

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

You’re only five steps away from taking your wound case to Las Vegas as a Wild On Wounds poster presenter.

Wound Care Poster Presentation

 

Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a seasoned conference goer, nothing compares to the experience of attending the annual Wild on Wounds (WOW) National Conference. Not only are there plenty of options for academic- and research-oriented clinicians, this event provides real-world wound care education, networking and solutions for professionals who treat wound patients at the bedside, home, or clinic. It also provides a great opportunity for individuals who have experienced a particularly challenging or interesting wound care case in the form of the poster presentations.

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Destination WOW? Be a Poster Presenter

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Wild on Wounds conference attendee shares a wound-care mystery through her first-ever poster abstract, and has a message for fellow clinicians: “Don’t give up!”

Susie Lee, RN WCC, was the 2015 WOW Grand Prize recipient in the poster presentations.

Susie Lee, RN WCC, was the 2015 WOW Grand Prize recipient in the poster presentations.

Susie Lee, RN WCC, traveled from Honolulu, Hawaii last year to attend the Wild on Wounds National Conference (WOW) for the first time, and all because of a challenging wound care case. A nurse for 38 years (and specializing in wound care for the past 10 years), she submitted a poster abstract in order to share her experience with fellow clinicians and conference attendees.

At the time, Susie had never created a clinical poster before, let alone one of such magnitude. And on top of that, she had never been asked to present a case for such a large audience. But this opportunity was a perfect fit for WOW attendees, because they love learning and finding ways to better help and care for wound care patients.

Little did she know that her entry (and all the hard work that went with it) would not only be a smashing success, she would go on to receive the coveted Grand Prize, plus a complimentary conference registration for WOW 2016. The icing on the cake was that she enjoyed learning more about her passion – wound care – in a lively, fun and inspirational environment while attending the WOW conference.

The Case

So what was Lee’s poster topic? It all started with an old wound that refused to heal. Located around a patient’s colostomy site, the wound was a tricky one, accompanied by intermittent appliance leakage. But the kicker? The patient wasn’t feeling pain.

“It was so frustrating,” says Lee. “The wound would get better for months at a time, but then suddenly flare up again. After trying different methods of treatment, none of which seemed to work I researched symptoms and scoured the Internet, looking for related articles, photos and any clue that might help find a solution. A  dermatologist could not provide any diagnosis, so I finally consulted with another wound care nurse colleague.”

Again, since the patient wasn’t feeling any pain, it was more difficult to diagnose. But finally Lee experienced an aha moment. She learned that the patient had suffered from a stroke on her left side (where the colostomy was), which had caused extensive nerve damage. This suddenly explained the patient’s lack of pain.

The diagnosis? Peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum – a rare condition that causes large, painful ulcers to develop in the area surrounding an abdominal stoma. Working with a nurse practitioner, Lee decided to apply a high-dose of topical steroid cream. And guess what? It worked.

The WOW Experience

Although Lee’s case was difficult, the successful outcome – and the opportunity to share her story so that others might learn from it – inspired her to create the first poster presentation of her life. Being named the Grand Prize recipient was a surprise, for sure. But it was her message that meant even more. “The bottom line for me was to tell other clinicians that no matter how long it takes, don’t give up!” she says. “It’s such a great satisfaction to get a stubborn wound healed – for the patient, certainly, but also for you!”

Attending her first WOW conference was extra special because Lee’s daughter came with her to see the presentation. “It was kind of a role reversal,” she says. “My daughter came to see me participate in something. She was impressed with my poster, and it was nice for her to be proud of me, just like I’m always proud of her!”

As for her WOW trip, Lee says that she loved every minute. “I’ve been to other conferences, and they were really nice, but WOW is a whole other experience,” she says. “They had so many sessions and resources – on topics that I have to deal with every day. I met so many great people, and it was well worth the trip. WOW makes learning fun.”

A Little Background on Susie

Lee’s first class with the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI) was in 2004, when she completed the Skin and Wound Management course presented by Nancy Morgan, WCEI Co-Founder.  Later, she sat for the Wound Care Certified Examination provided by National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy, and then became a WCC. “No doubt about it, my career path is a direct result of WCEI,” she says.

More about WOW

What have your experiences at WOW conferences been, and how many times have you attended? What were your favorite moments, sessions or experiences? Please leave your comments below. And if you’re interested in sharing the details of an unusual or particularly challenging case, get your 2016 Poster Submission Form here. We can’t wait to see you in Las Vegas!

To learn more about the case, “Atypical Presentation of Peristomal Pyoderma Gangrenosum,”  see Lee’s article in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Wound Care Advisor.

News Flash: Document Education or Risk Facing Pressure Ulcer Citations

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Failing to provide and document wound care educational efforts can lead to citations! Most recently, a facility was cited for not providing written documentation to a patient and his family about his Stage II pressure ulcer.

Document Education or Risk Citation

Wound care clinicians love to talk about wounds – preventing, treating and healing them. We love to compare notes, study photographs and learn about new techniques and strategies. But another vital piece of our job involves educating others, whether it be patients, family members or colleagues. Keeping everyone in the loop is essential to achieve the best outcomes, and avoid citations.

What it might look like now

Pressure Ulcer Staging Guide

Click for our FREE Pressure Ulcer Staging Guide

When we say that education must be a part of our pressure ulcer treatment and prevention program, we’re talking about routinely:

  • Providing printed information on the etiology of risk factors
  • Discussing the importance of risk and skin assessments
  • Explaining the role of support surfaces and the importance of positioning
  • Ensuring that each patient has a skin-care program individualized to meet their needs

These components of care are often accomplished during a staff in-service, or at care team meetings that focus on individual patients. But how are our patients and family members being educated on this issue?

Most clinicians would say that it is done by the individual licensed caregiver (often a nurse), as part of their normal daily activities on the unit.  The problem with this approach is that it’s not always documented, and often not very structured.  And this can lead to trouble.

What it must look like now

So what exactly are the expectations when it comes to pressure ulcer education according to today’s standards? Let’s consider what the 2014 International Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers has to say about it.

In the section on implementing the guidelines, it speaks directly to patient consumers and their caregivers, and advises us to work with our healthcare teams and learn about pressure ulcer risk factors (and how this relates to their individual situation).  In order to meet this important objective, health care professionals must provide language appropriate printed materials, e-learning packages, and internet resources for the patient.

And where can you get such materials? Patient and consumer recommendation documents are currently being developed by the Guideline authors (we will let you know when they are available), but until then, one resource is MedlinePlus, where you can find the following patient handouts:

  • How to Care for Pressure Sores
  • Pressure Ulcer
  • Preventing Pressure Ulcers

No education? Hello, citation!

So besides the fact that a comprehensive pressure ulcer education program is crucial for better outcomes, failing to do so can lead to citations. All patient education, topics, methods, and responses must be documented.

Lesson learned?

The standards of care are always changing, and as wound care professionals, it’s critical to keep up with these changes. Do you and your facility currently meet these expectations when it comes to pressure ulcer education? How do you make sure patients and family members are not only being educated properly, but that these efforts are being documented as complete in the medical record? Please leave your thoughts or comments below.

Pressure Ulcers: Beyond the Risk Scales

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

When it comes to pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, traditional risk assessment tools don’t always tell the whole story. Find out what does.

Pressure Ulcer Risk Header

As wound care professionals, we know how pressure ulcers can negatively effect patients’ lives. This serious skin condition can not only lead to further complications and higher costs, but can also inhibit a patient’s ability to participate in rehabilitation and ultimately lead an active role in their community.

So the more we can do to properly assess pressure ulcers from the very beginning, the more we can do to help promote healing, reduce hospital stays and accelerate recovery time. Obviously, this involves the use of valuable tools, such as the Braden Scale. But we should also implement a good dose of clinical judgment once pressure ulcer risk is determined. Here’s how:

It’s more than just a Risk Score

The 2014 International Guidelines on the Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers stress the importance of looking at other factors, and not just the Risk Score when establishing risk levels and interventions for your patients. As mentioned earlier, in order to accurately determine your patient’s risk, the use of traditional tools alone (like the Braden Scale) is no longer considered to be enough.

Since the current condition of the skin is a key factor to consider when determining risk levels and interventions, the Guidelines recommend that both risk and skin assessments should be completed within eight hours of admission.  And anytime a risk assessment is completed, a skin assessment must be done and documented right along with it.  This applies throughout the patient’s stay within your care setting.

What else should you do?

When examining your patient’s chances for developing a pressure ulcer, taking note of their current skin condition is crucial. Are there reddened areas that barely blanch, and are they frequently recurring over the same boney prominence? Answering questions like these is important.

We must always look at the bigger picture of risk, and then factor in additional information such as psychosocial status, size, care setting, support surface, lab data and other sources. According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel’s Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Quick Reference Guide, risk factor assessment recommendations include:

  • Use a structured approach to risk assessment that includes assessment of activity/mobility and skin status.
  • Consider the impact of the following factors on an individual’s risk of pressure ulcer development: perfusion and oxygenation; poor nutritional status; and increased skin moisture.
  • Consider the potential impact of the following factors on an individual’s risk of pressure ulcer development: increased body temperature; advanced age; sensory perception; hematological measures and; general health status

In addition, the Reference Guide includes the following recommendations when conducting skin and tissue assessments:

  • In individuals at risk of pressure ulcers, conduct a comprehensive skin assessment: as soon as possible but within eight hours of admission (or first visit in community settings); as part of every risk assessment; ongoing based on the clinical setting and the individual’s degree of risk; and prior to the individual’s discharge.
  • Inspect skin for erythema in individuals identified as being at risk of pressure ulceration.
  • Include the following factors in every skin assessment: skin temperature; edema; and change in tissue consistency in relation to surrounding tissue.
  • Inspect the skin under and around medical devices at least twice daily for the signs of pressure-related injury on the surrounding tissue.

Are you on board?

Using your clinical judgment, along with traditional assessment tools, is a must when it comes to skin and risk assessment for pressure ulcers. We’d love to hear how you have learned to implement both within your facility. Have you noticed a difference in patient recovery? Do you think that this broader approach to assessment is well-known and practiced among your peers? Please leave your stories or comments below.

 

Ouch! Let’s Talk About Skin Tears

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

This WCEI free webinar will help wound care professionals understand more about skin tears, including how to treat and prevent them (and help patients heal).

Skin Tears - Prevention and Management

If you’ve ever suffered a significant skin tear, then you know how painful they can be. The inevitable bleeding (and sometimes even disfigurement) during the healing process can take a toll, both physically and emotionally. So you can imagine how awful it would be to experience this same cycle of pain, over and over again.

Unfortunately, skin tears are a common occurrence with institutionalized patients (particularly in older adults), and often lead to further complications. In fact, a reported 1.5 million skin tears occur in this population each year, and that doesn’t even include unreported incidents occurring at home.

But we’re here to help, thanks to our own WCEI Clinical Instructor Gail Hebert, and her presentation at the 2015 Wild on Wounds National Conference in Las Vegas, “How To: Skin Tears – Prevention and Management.” In this free webinar (see access code below), you can listen to her recorded session and arm yourself with the latest information about skin tear treatment, prevention and management. You can also help to bring the number of annual skin tears down while protecting patients and helping support the facilities in which you work.

 

Gail Hebert, RN, BS, MS, CWCN, WCC, DWC, OMS, WCEI Clinical Instructor

Gail Hebert, RN, BS, MS, CWCN, WCC, DWC, OMS, WCEI Clinical Instructor

Ready to learn?

So what exactly is a skin tear? As Hebert explains in the webinar, it’s a traumatic wound caused by shear, friction and/or blunt force trauma that results in either a partial or full thickness injury. And while skin tears certainly occur, to think they are inevitable is short-sighted.

“Our role is to make sure we’ve done everything we can to minimize their occurrences,” says Hebert. “Not just by accepting that skin tears happen and move on, but to work hard at all the variables that can be controlled, so skin tears can be the exception rather than the rule.”

Through Hebert’s webinar, you will learn so much more about skin tears, including:

  • How to identify risks for skin tears and skin tear category classifications.
  • Current evidence-based recommendations for accurate skin tear assessment, prediction, treatment and prevention strategies.
  • Forms and tools you can put to use immediately.

“Skin tears are considered to be negative patient outcomes,” adds Hebert. “So in terms of your facility’s reputation, you don’t want to be known as a place where an excessive number of skin tears take place.” In other words, if people wonder if your facility is doing everything it can to prevent them, you want to be able to respond with a resounding, “Yes!”

 

What people have to say

Those who were able to attend Hebert’s session in person last summer at the WOW Conference had plenty of feedback to share. Here’s a sample:

 

 “Who knew there was enough on this subject matter to actually speak on it for one whole hour? It was great!”

“Excellent speaker, and was happy to hear that I was caring for skin tears in the right manner! Now I can go back to my facilities and students, and pass this information on! Thank you so much! Very engaging speaker!”

“This was a great review for me. I used last year’s skin tear outline to help build our skin tear policy, so I truly appreciate the updated outlines provided with this lecture.”

 

Go ahead, take the skin-tear plunge!

Are you ready to learn more about skin tears and put into practice your newfound knowledge?  Click here and use the code SKINTEARS to access this 60-minute recording, which qualifies for an education credit.

 

 

Tell us your stories

Have you made improvements in your own facility when it comes to skin-tear prevention? What were they, and what results have you noticed? Do you have any other suggestions for skin-tear treatment, prevention or assessment? Leave your comments below.

 

Wound Care Education Institute® provides online and onsite courses in the fields of Skin, Wound, Diabetic and Ostomy Management. Health care professionals who meet the eligibility requirements may sit for the prestigious WCC®, DWC® and OMS national board certification examinations through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® (NAWCO®). For more information see wcei.net.

Test Your Wound IQ

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

 

ProProfs – Wound IQ Test » Online assessment software